Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo Opens Nov. 22

November 6, 2019

TOLEDO, Ohio –Kick off the 2019 holiday season at Opening Night of Lights Before Christmas presented by KeyBank on Friday, November 22 for the annual tree-lighting ceremony at approximately 6:10 p.m.!

The opening night ceremonies kickoff the five-week long display that, as always, features over one million lights, the award-winning Big Tree, more than 200 illuminated animal images spread out across the Zoo and much more. The 2019 electrical spectacle is sure to be both merry AND bright!

The annual lighting of the award-winning Big Tree, an 85 ft. Norway spruce decorated with 35,000 LED lights, will take place in the Garden area at approximately 6:10 p.m. and be broadcast live on WTOL 11.

Fan-favorite traditions continuing at Lights this year include: the Ice Slide and Winter Village sponsored by Kroger, visits with Santa in the Arctic Encounter®, the Dancing Northern Lights sponsored by St. Luke’s Hospital and Scenes of Wonder 3-D display sponsored by Comfort Line, Ltd.! And it would not be Lights without the Zoo’s famous hot chocolate, homemade fudge and baked goods!

Also returning this year, Santa will be ziplining in toward his Arctic Encounter workshop at 4:30 p.m. daily from Nov 23 – December 23. Gather on the Africa Overlook to see the jolly man in red arrive in high style! Additionally, the Arctic Blast, a snowball launcher game is back but relocated to the Broadway Pavilion in the historic Amphitheatre! For $3 each participant receives three blasts from an air launcher to hit a holiday-themed target with snowballs. Height restrictions apply.

New this year, is an interactive LED light display in the historic Amphitheatre. Guests can move or dance on the floor and see their silhouettes in lights on the stage. In addition, a variety of photo opportunities and “chill zone” complete with concessions and fire pits has also been set up on the Amphitheatre floor.

This is also the first holiday season of the ProMedica Museum of Natural History at the Toledo Zoo. Be sure to stop in, warm up with a seasonal beverage or treat from the Café at the Museum and check out the unique Ohio habitats featured on the first floor!

Lights Before Christmas will be open November 22 – December 31, 2019, including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Admission gates for Lights Before Christmas are open 3-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Zoo will close one hour after last admission. Visitors can save $1 per ticket by ordering online at

Come enjoy all the season has to offer at the 2019 edition of Lights Before Christmas presented by KeyBank at your Toledo Zoo!

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